Friday, January 9, 2009

21. P.J. Dean

21. P.J. Dean -RHP - 6'3 - 175lbs
(last year: NR)

It took $120,000 but the Nationals were able to sign P.J. Dean away from the Oklahoma Sooners. The 7th round pick out of New Caney, Texas pitched well out of the gate as an 18 year old in the Gulf Coast League before tiring late in the summer. He went 3-1 with a 4.06era and a 1.23 whip in 31 innings. He walked 11, struck out 26 and gave up 27 hits.

Dean spent 2008 with Vermont short-season A ball. He dominated the NYPL with a 4-1 record, 1.57era and a whip of 0.91. In those 46 innings, he struck out 34, walked 16 and gave up just 26 hits. Because of his lean, athletic build and his clean arm action, he has drawn comparisons to former teammate Collin Balester. P.J. throws in the 89-91mph range and can touch 92 with his fastball. There’s plenty of room for projection here. His curveball is an above average pitch already, while his changeup has shown promise in his brief professional career. Coming from high school, Dean had some makeup issues but most believe he’ll mature as time goes on.

Acquired in the Scott Olsen/Josh Willingham deal, the Marlins will most likely send Dean to low-A Greensboro for his first true test of his career. He’s going to take his lumps in the hitter’s paradise that is the SALLY but the Marlins are pleased with the lone arm they got back in the deal they made back in November.

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